Published On: Wed, Mar 25th, 2015

Venex Curaçao: Truths and lies about Barack Obama sanctions against Venezuelan officers

Venezuela defense

On March 9, president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, signed an executive order in which he classified Venezuela as an “extraordinary and unusual threat “  to the national security  of the United States, and announced personal sanctions against seven governmental officers accusing them of human rights violations and corruption acts.

Which sanctions have been taken according to this executive order?

Blocking of assets and cancelation of visas of seven high level Venezuelan government officers are the only sanctions taken heretofore within the scope of Barack Obama's xecutive order

These persons are part of a large list of officers with different levels of responsibility in cases of human rights violation to demonstrators during February - March 2014 events.

Is there any sanction against Venezuela as a country?

There is not any sanction against Venezuela.  Seven Venezuelan persons cannot enter into the United States and their assets have been frozen. Nothing else.

Why is Venezuela considered as an extraordinary and unusual threat?

United States Code Annotated, title 50, chapter 35, related to international emergency economic powers, gives the President the authority to declare any foreign country as an “unusual and extraordinary threat“, and for that reason to declare a national emergency. These powers of the President allow him to impose sanctions as the ones taken against the seven officers above mentioned.

Are these sanctions a real invasion threat?

It is important to make clear that international emergency economic powers permit US President only the application of economic constraints. For military actions, it requires a process totally different.

Which other countries have been declared as US threat?

In recent years, this category has been applied to Iran, Myanmar, Sudan, Russia, Zimbabwe, Syria, Byelorussian and North Korea.

South Africa (during the apartheid), Haiti (between 1991 and 1994), Liberia and Sierra Leone (2001 to 2004) also have been declared as a US threat.

None of these last countries could be considered a serious threat to the security of the United States, likewise, it is difficult to think that the United States had planned to take control of their natural resources, as is praised openly by the Venezuelan government.

We insist, classification as a threat is the required legal step to sanction clear violations of human rights.

Is the Venezuelan government a threat to regional security?

From a military standpoint, it is not evident that Venezuelan government could be a direct bellicose threat to any of its neighbor countries. Nevertheless, many denounces of cooperation with terrorist organizations of Colombia, Spain and the Middle East have not been duly investigated.

Who are the persons sanctioned in Venezuela?

•             Antonio José Benavides Torres: Commander of the Strategic Region of Integral Development (REDI); former Director of Operations of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB)

•             Gustavo Enrique González López: General Director of the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN) and President of the Strategic Center of Security and Fatherland Protection (CESPPA)

•             Justo José Noguera Pietri: President of the governmental entity  Corporation of Guayana and former General Commander  of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB)

•             Katherine NayarithHaringhton Padrón: District 20 national prosecutors

•             Manuel Eduardo Pérez Urdaneta: Director of the Bolivarian National Police of Venezuela (PNB)

•             Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martínez: Commander of the Army 31st Armored Brigade of Caracas and former General Director of the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence

•             Miguel Alcides Vivas Landino: General Inspector of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and former Commander of the Strategic Region of Integral Development of Los Andes

Our position with regard to these sanctions

Foundation Venex Curacao supports any measure that helps to sanction violators of human rights in Venezuela.

During last years, but especially as of February 2014, accusations of violations of human rights have increased substantially.

Venezuelan Penal Forum, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), has documented during last months many cases of violations of human rights just as unjustified imprisonment of mayors, leading opposition politicians, students, businessmen, lawyers, twitter users,  as well as tortures and executions where military and police officers are implicated as allegedly responsible.

International organizations as U.N.O., Human Rights Watch, European Parliament, US Congress  have asked Nicolás Maduro's government the liberty of all political prisoners and respect to Human Right International Laws.

What do we expect from the local community?

Because there are not serious investigations within Venezuela that would allow taking justice, we consider international sanctions as the only protection layer between victims and aggressors.

We ask the community not to be manipulated for the call to collect signatures asking Barack Obama to overturn the executive order that only affects seven persons responsible for abuses very well documented.

We believe that the defense of human rights cannot be limited by frontiers.  The best way to avert human rights abuses in other countries, is taking the role of the victims and requiring the fulfillment of in force international laws.

The best way to protect citizens of this interconnected world is to strengthen, and not to weaken, the international justice.

That is our real hope.


Fundashon Venex Curaçao


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